Peninsula Dermatologic Surgery Mohs



321 Middlefield Road, Suite 245
Menlo Park, CA 94025
T 650.326.7222 F 650.326.7332

MOHS SURGERY

The process of Mohs micrographic surgery was created by Dr. Fred Mohs when he was a medical student over fifty years ago. He developed a meticulous and precise surgical technique used for removing skin cancers. This procedure has gained wide acceptance for skin cancer treatment in the last twenty years. The name micrographic comes from micro, indicating the use of a microscope, and graphic, indicating that a detailed map or drawing of the tumor is made during the treatment.

MOHS SURGERY REQUIRES THE FOLLOWING THREE STEPS:

1. Remove the visible tumor to determine the initial tumor borders.

2. Remove a thin disk of skin around and underneath these borders.

3. Examine the removed skin under the microscope and draw a map of where skin cancer remains.

If cancer is still present, we will pinpoint the location and remove only that skin where the cancer remains. These steps are repeated in cycles until the tumor is totally removed. In this way, a careful, accurate and complete removal of the skin cancer is achieved with minimal removal of normal surrounding skin.

To see a video presentation about MOHS SURGERY please click here.

ADVANTAGES OF MOHS MICROGRAPHIC SURGERY

The Mohs technique has a number of advantages over other methods of skin cancer treatment because no guesswork is involved. The microscopic analysis allows us to remove only those structures involved with the cancer. In other words, the cancer is completely removed while normal tissues are conserved. This procedure results in the smallest possible tissue defect and therefore, the smallest possible scar.

In addition, the surgeon acts as the pathologist and immediately examines the removed tissue. The surgeon can directly compare what is seen on the patient's skin to microscope slides. This is not the case when tissue is sent to an outside person for interpretation.

The Mohs technique provides cure rates for primary (previously untreated) and recurrent (previously treated) basal cell and squamous cell cancer of 94%-99%. The cure rate varies depending on the type of cancer and the type of treatments already performed.